Thursday, January 20, 2005

My Horrendous Experience In Trying to get to Boston

So we left my house in Harrisonburg, VA at about 2:30pm on Sunday, and we arrived at Washington-Dulles at about 4:45pm. I say goodbye to my parents and use United Airlines EasyCheck-In to get checked in and over to my gate.

My flight is scheduled to leave at 6:15pm, but at by 6:00pm, the plane wasn't even at the gate yet. It finally arrived, but we had to wait while they fixed a problem with the Air Conditioning. Anyway, we probably took of around 7:15-7:30pm. We tryed to make up time in the air, and we made it to the airspace above Boston, where there was some snow and bad weather. Now, we were circling because the weather had backed up the landing aircraft, which are landed on a first come, first served system. However, our plane was running low on fuel, so we diverted to WHITE PLAINS, NEW YORK.

We landed in NY, and waited for about an hour to be refueled. During this time, they won't let us off (because we are not at a gate), so everyone is trying to get to the bathroom. Finally we are fueled and we go taxi out to the runway to return to Boston.

Then they tell us that a groundstop has been declared on all flights to Boston, because "poor braking conditions" had stopped ALL landings into Logan Airport. However, they were going to contact our plane again within 40 minutes. So we wait on the runway, ready at a moments notice to take off. Forty minutes later, they tell us that we are NOT flying to Boston tonight.

Now, it is about 12:00am (midnight) by now, and for those who know White Plains, it is home to "Westchester County Airport". It is a commuter airport, so it was all but SHUT DOWN when we got off the plane and were told to "get our bags". Because this wasn't a major airport, we all started wandering around to try and find some one who could tell us what the heck we were supposed to do!

Finally we find a security guard (Not a TSA member, Security was closed) who finds a United Agent in the back, and the United Agent tells us that United Airlines will put us up in a hotel tonight, but we need to make our own reservations on a flight to Boston tommorow by calling the reservation 800-number.

So I put my name down on the list to get a hotel room, and I call the number. Fortunately, I pretended to have a rotary phone, so I spoke with an agent right away.

"I'd was on flight 7200 that got diverted from Boston to White Plains, and I need to rebook on a flight to Boston in the morning."

"Okay, I've got a 6:30am flight to Boston, but you have a layover in Dulles"

(Awkward Silence)

"Sir? Would you like to book the flight?"

"You, um, are telling me that you don't have a direct flight to Boston?"

"That's right sir, we don't fly White Plains to Boston."

Okay, so now I'm frustrated. I HAVE TO GO BACK TO WASHINGTON D.C. TO GET TO BOSTON? I decided that since it was MLK day and I really didn't have any responsibilities, I would just get a full nights sleep and go on the 10:20am flight.

They shuttle us all to the "Welleseley Inn" on the hotel shuttle (which takes two trips, I'm on the second trip,) and I check in and fall asleep by 1:30am, Monday morning.

My wake-up call is for 7:45. I get up, shower, grab a danish and a cup of hot cocoa from their crappy continental breakfast, and take the 8:30 Shuttle over to the Airport. When I'm there, because it is such a small airport, I end up being through security and waiting in the terminal by 9:00am. So I read the complimentary copy of the USA Today that I recieved from the hotel, and at 10:20, my plane has yet to be boarded. Great.

They do board eventually, and we take off around 11am, and arrive in Dulles at 12:35pm, which is about 15 minutes after they were scheduled to start boarding my flight to Boston, which was scheduled to leave at 1:00pm. I wasn't too worried though, because based on their record so far, all my flights had been late. Sure enough, I made it, and the flight got off late, and we were put into a holding pattern again outside of Boston, pushing our arrival time to about 3:30pm, Monday.

So I got my bags, took the crappy airport shuttle to the crappy T (subway) changed to the crappy green line, lugged my 100 pounds of baggage up a buttload of stairs, finally plunking my suitcases down in my room at about 4:30pm.

Gee, only about 20 hours after I was supposed to be there. Great.

Oh, and the best part of all was that the first thing I say was a notice saying that I had failed to pay a fine with a certain period of time so they had doubled it.

As you can see, it's taken me a while to restore normality to my mind. Anyway, sorry for the lengthyness of this post, but I will try to remember to post more regularly in the future. Have a great second semester everyone!


Anonymous said...

baby, I have to say that i'm glad I didn't come to meet you like I was contimplating. I"m very sorry to hear that you had such a horrible time getting back to MA. Talk about crappy... you know its to bad you didn't get some free millage out of that. Hey actually I wonder if you can claim all the extra miles you flew as frequent. I know you'd be with the same crappy airlines, but hey free miles are free miles. Speaking of have you heard about the newest plane that was released? Its called the shuttle bus something or other and is like a big hotel! (I think I hear something like 600 passangers?) Now that would suck! I love you and am glad your back.

John said...

Hey Ezra!
I didn't realize you got there that late. I thought you meant 4:30 am. Well, at least you got some sleep in between and got there safely, right? I'm a little confused though. Did you really have to go back to DC to go to Boston? That's ridiculous.
How do your classes seem so far? Hope your adjusting well. Take care and keep your self warm!